Business leader to chair CEDA, APS review member gets seat on board

By Shannon Jenkins

Monday July 15, 2019

Diane Smith-Gander

Diane Smith-Gander AO will take over as chair of the Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA) from Paul McClintock AO in November.

A board member at CEDA since 2015, Smith-Gander is currently the non-executive director of AGL Energy, Wesfarmers and the Keystart Loans group, chair of Safe Work Australia, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council, and a member of the partnership council of Norton Rose Fulbright Australia.

She recently served as a panel member of the APRA capability review commissioned by the federal Treasurer, is a past president of Chief Executive Women, was former chair of Broadspectrum, plus deputy chair of NBNCo, a commissioner of Tourism WA and a board member of the Committee for Perth.

CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento said Smith-Gander’s wealth of experience and her keen interest in progressing social issues aligns with CEDA’s purpose. 

READ MORE: APRA capability review panel filled out with two former bankers

Leading Australian economic and policy experts, Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM and his fellow economist Jeff Borland have also been appointed to the board, starting immediately.

de Brouwer is a former secretary of the Department of Environment and was associate secretary in the domestic policy group for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He has also worked for the federal Treasury, Reserve Bank and Westpac in Tokyo. His areas of expertise include Asian economies, macroeconomics, international finance, regionalism and international institutions.

He is also an Australian Public Service review member as part of an independent panel.

Borland is currently a professor of economics at the University of Melbourne, specialising in labour markets in Australia, program and policy evaluation and economic history. He will also take over as chair of the Research and Policy Committee, who oversee CEDA’s research agenda.

He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and currently president of the Victorian Branch of the Economic Society of Australia.

Cilento said they will “help ensure CEDA continues to be a leader in this space,” and continue the focus and relevance of CEDA’s research and policy agenda.

READ MORE: Where Gordon de Brouwer went next

McClintock said his time at CEDA had many highlights, including chairing the high-level commission to oversee the Deficit to balance: Budget repair options report, and the completion of CEDA’s 2019 foundation document, Connecting people with progress.

“I would also like to thank my fellow CEDA Board members for their support, professionalism, expertise and input during my tenure as Chair,” he said.

 “With global economic and political uncertainty, having a trusted and independent policy voice such as CEDA is now more important than ever for Australia.”

Smith-Gander said it would be an honour to lead CEDA and succeed McClintock.

“Paul’s outstanding stewardship of CEDA has included a focus in recent years to reposition the organisation to have a greater voice and impact in driving good social and economic development.  This makes it an exciting time to take over as Chair,” she said.

According to Cilento, CEDA’s ability to attract such a high calibre of appointments is testament to the strength of its position in the business and public policy space.

“CEDA’s work creates a nexus for business, government, academia and community organisations to come together to debate and progress policy solutions that deliver better economic and social outcomes for Australia,” she said.

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